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Getting Schooled on Shopping: Experts Predicting Shortages of Many Back-To-School Supplies

Back-to-school shopping is never a fun thing. And this year, expect it to be worse. Retail experts are predicting there will be shortages of many back-to-school supplies this year. Why? With more classrooms fully reopening in the fall, industry experts expect very high demand on school merchandise, with shoppers in the US spending an average of $850 per family.

That demand, along with tight inventory levels and delayed shipments will impact retailers’ ability to keep products on the shelves later in the school shopping season, which traditionally lasts from mid-July through the end of August.

Products most likely to be in short supply include backpacks, stationery, sports equipment, laptops and tablets. And with supply being tight, consumers shouldn’t think they will see great bargains, either. Discounts will be less generous due to the fact that there is less stock and because of inflation.

With spending up, it is no surprise that more than a third of parents are starting their back-to-school shopping earlier this year. Clothes, school supplies, and backpacks are the top things American parents are prepared to splurge on for this back-to-school season.

79 percent of parents say that having the right supplies will help their child feel confident when they return to school this year with 65 percent admiting the cost of back-to-school supplies makes them anxious.

For teachers, the cost of classroom supplies is also a cause of concern — they expect to spend an average of $285.50 of their own money on supplies this year, while one in five will spend $401 or more.